Samantha and Amelia: 16 Months

Samantha and Amelia turned 16 months old on Friday– happy birthday, girls! That means it’s time for a photo dump, obviously. While these photos were taken when the girls were 15 1/2 months old, taking pictures of them is so tiring now days, that there is no way I was going to do it over again two weeks later!
98% of my photos look like this: 
Or this…
…Which perfectly encapsulates what the girls are like at 16 months! Life has truly been a blur since their transition from babies at 12 months to full fledged toddlers! 
This is my view of the girls most days– either two blurry masses RUNNING around me:
Or their backs as they run away!

16 month stats for Samantha: 8 teeth, 27 pounds and 34 inches tall. Still in the 99th percentile. The girl is TALL! We’re looking at an adult height of six feet at this rate. Calling all volleyball and basketball coaches…I’ve got two recruits for you!
Samantha loves to: walk, RUN, climb, dance, clap, shake her musical instruments, play hide and seek, read her lift the flap books (and tear the flaps out), walk Bandit, swim, jump in the pool, splash in the kiddie pool, drink from Mommy’s water canteen, take a shower, drink from drinking fountains, feed herself with a spoon and fork. 
Fave foods: Sweet potato with cinnamon, peanut butter toast, mozzarella cheese, pita bread with hummus, watermelon, pasta, bananas (she’ll eat the entire thing!), and zucchini tots (a little snack I made the girls in order to get them trick them into eating zucchini. It’s basically bread crumbs, zucchini and cheese– a win win). 
Hates: Baths, being strapped down in her car seat, being strapped down in her stroller, being strapped down in her high chair (are we seeing a pattern?), when Amelia steals her toy, when Mommy won’t let her have something, when Bandit walks too fast for her to keep up.
Walks around the neighborhood take a minimum of an hour these days–Samantha and Amelia love to stop and look at every leaf!
                    
Words: Mama, Dada, dog, yeah, ruff ruff, baby sign for all done and eat. She doesn’t babble as much as Amelia and doesn’t speak as many words, preferring to observe and use gestures or grunt when she wants something. We are hoping her language will expand a little by her 18 month birthday.
Fave books: Anything with animals (Spot books, Peek a Boo Jungle, On the Farm)
Fave songs: Anything upbeat (especially BINGO, Here we go loop dee loo, Old MacDonald). Samantha loves to randomly “dance” by bending her knees up and down, spinning around in circles, shaking her fists, and wiggling her entire torso back and forth. 
Watching the doggies–her favorite. She will say ruff ruff every time she sees a dog…including Bandit (which is all. the. time.)
                     
                    
Since both girls are a little bit delayed with their speech (pretty normal for twins and for being premature, however), we took the girls to get a hearing test and to get their ears checked out this past week. They passed with flying colors, so at least we can rule out any ear issues when it comes to their talking. Their pediatrician isn’t concerned with their language and, after their 15 month appointment, said to wait and see what happens by 18 months, but that doesn’t mean we can’t give them a little at-home intervention in the mean time.
Samantha loves to “walk” her monkey. 
                     
Since the speech therapy clinic won’t take toddlers until they are 18 months old, I’ve been reading some books and getting ideas from speech therapy blogs so that we can work on their language skills at home. I’ve already seen an increase in the girls pointing and making eye contact to get what they want (precursors to a language explosion), saying “dat” when they want to know what something is, babbling, and trying to say new words. Their ability to sit still and listen or read a book with me has also greatly increased, which will directly impact their speech. 
                  
According to the research out there, twins, and active toddlers, in particular, are especially prone to speech delays. First of all, the girls have each other to talk to and since they babble with each other (and seem to understand each other just fine), they don’t have an immediate need to say actual words correctly.
Second, since there’s only one of me and two of them, the girls don’t get as much one-on-one exposure to language as they would if they were singletons. Lastly, active toddlers are constantly on the move, making it a challenge to get them to sit down and play with their farm animals/saying the names of the animals, or sitting through a book, for example. 
Always on the go. 
                 
Perhaps this is related to her lack of language skills, but 15-16 months has been the beginning of an era of full-on tantrums! This girl can SCREAM!
Sometimes it’s taking Bandit’s leash away from her. Other times it’s sister stealing her Wub. She can go from 0-60 in two seconds flat…happy one second and a red-faced, teary eyed, screaming maniac the next. And then back again. 
Sometimes I think she must have skipped a year and is actually a two-year-old. Nobody calls it the terrible one-and-a-halfs, after all! Samantha’s frustration levels definitely warrant that moniker sometimes. 
I think a lot of it is related to the fact that Samantha can’t always tell us what she wants and gets so darn frustrated that no one understands her! I’ve been reading Happiest Toddler on the Block (by the same doc who wrote Happiest Baby on the Block–an absolute lifesaver for us during the girls’ first three months), which has some great ideas for preventing/dealing with tantrums from highly spirited toddlers like Samantha and Amelia. Some of the strategies we’ve been implementing are already helping calm Samantha down when she’s really upset, so I hope they continue to work.
                           Intense is definitely a word I would use to describe Samantha.
                   
A busy little bee. Smiles for the camera are extremely rare these days.
On the opposite end of the tantrum spectrum, Samantha can also be the most giggly, excited, exuberant little human in the room. She’s constantly looking for ways to make us laugh and loves it when we ask her to show us her “Sammy laugh.” Drama queen!
Samantha is soooooo a mommy’s girl. Whatever I’m doing, she wants to be involved, whether that’s helping me cook or walk the dog. She’s been known to push Amelia out of my lap in order to be front and center for story time. 
Joie de vivre. 
Samantha is very helpful, grabbing her shoes and clothes when I ask, getting Bandit’s leash for me or helping me unload the dishwasher. 
While she gets frustrated when learning a new skill, her reaction when she does something new is priceless. Most recently, she learned to stack her wooden rings on a dowel, one by one– she was so proud of herself!
Often silly.
Sometimes sarcastic. 
Always Sammy girl. 
Amelia’s 16 month stats: 8 teeth, 24.8 pounds and 33 3/4″. This was the first month Amelia actually went down a little in the weight percentiles (from the 90th to the 80th). Still a big girl!

Naturally, Amelia got scraped up on her cheek RIGHT before we took pictures. She’s an adventurous one, that girl.

Amelia always seems to find the most interesting things on the ground. 

See ya. 

Like Samantha, Amelia loves to say “ruff ruff” and hang out with her canine buddy. 
Like Samantha, my view is usually of her back as she runs toward something more interesting. 
Amelia loves: walking her puppy, carrying around her bubbles, drinking from drinking fountains and water bottles, seeing dogs at the park, the slide, digging in the sand, climbing on benches, chairs and tables, dancing and singing, gymnastics, swimming and splashing, feeding herself with her fork and spoon, clapping when she hears music.  
Amelia hates: baths, when mommy doesn’t let her touch anything at the grocery store, sitting in the front seat of the cart at the store, when Daddy leaves in the morning, when Samantha steals a toy, when Mommy won’t let her have something. 
Fave foods: hard boiled egg, peanut butter toast, mango, kiwi, watermelon, grapes, zucchini tots, cheese, pasta, chicken, guacamole, pita bread, carrots, spaghetti squash–just about anything!
                      
Fave books: Anything with animals (Spot books, touch and feel animals books).
Fave songs: Anything upbeat– she’ll start dancing and clapping to pretty much anything. She especially loves to here BINGO, Wheels on the Bus, She’ll Be Comin’ Round the Mountain, and some of Jake’s random 80s techno music (much to my dismay). 
Amelia says: mama, dada, hi, dog, done, up, yeah, duck, and does the baby signs for all done, more, and eat. She also gestures, points to what she wants and grunts a lot. We are hoping her language explodes in the next few months as well. 
Amelia loves pointing to the sun, moon or whatever catches her fancy. She’s extremely persistent on pointing and exclaiming, “Dat! Dat!” when she wants to know the name of an object or wants me to pay attention. 
One of my favorite characteristics of Amelia is that she is so sensitive and caring. She will follow little kids around the park, offering them her shovel, pail, whatever toy she has at the moment–even if they don’t want it! She’s been known to give spontaneous hugs to random kids too. 
If Samantha is crying, Amelia usually tries to go over and give her a hug or offer her a toy. If Amelia wakes up from her nap before Samantha, she’ll immediately give Samantha a great big bear hug once Samantha wakes. 
She’s a great helper and will bring her shoes or books to me when I ask. She also loves getting dressed and will pick out shirts and headbands for me to put on her (or her dolly). She loves being the class clown and will do anything to make us laugh. She’s usually adaptable in social situations and loves to play with other kids and grown ups. 
                  
                 
While very intense sometimes, overall, Amelia is the more even-tempered twin out of the two. 
The many angles of Amelia. 

Great at multi-tasking. 

Always one step ahead of me. 

Our fun-loving, kind-hearted, spirited Amelia. 
The girls’ relationship continues to blossom every day (for better or for worse!) 
One moment, they are having an epic battle over a tupperware container, and the next they are wrestling and giggling on the floor. 
Quick to forgive and forget. Forever BFFs.
We’ve learned a new trick for getting the girls to be in the same place at the same time. If one is running off, we’ll shout, “Amelia, where’s Samantha?” Amelia will immediately turn around and run to wherever Samantha is. At least we can round them up in the same place this way!
Batten down the hatches!
Here they come!
TWINZILLAS!

Just in case you skimmed this post, in summary, Samantha and Amelia are the most intelligent, adorable, beautiful 16 month olds of ALL time. Naturally. 
Lots of love, 

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